Objective: To investigate whether a new blood collection device stabilizes cell-free RNA (cfRNA) in blood post-phlebotomy when compared to collection using K3EDTA tubes. Design and methods: Blood samples were drawn from healthy donors into K3EDTA tubes and Cell-Free RNA BCTs (BCTs) and stored at room temperature (20-25°C). At specified time points (days 0-3), plasma was separated and cfRNA was extracted. Reverse transcription real-time PCR was used to quantify mRNA for c-fos, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), and for 18S rRNA. Results: Blood drawn into K3EDTA tubes showed a steady increase in RNA concentration over 3days of ex vivo incubation. Blood drawn into BCTs showed no statistically significant change in RNA copy number except for GAPDH on day 3. Conclusions: The novel chemical cocktail contained in the new device allows for the stabilization of cfRNA in blood samples at room temperature, which potentially enhances the clinical utility of cfRNA. © 2012 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists.
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